|A contributor to Chinese domestic growth is the low-cost carrier Spring Airlines, which this week started serving Zhuhai and Mianyang from its Shanghai Pudong base.|
With China’s airlines carrying 20% more domestic passengers last year, the country’s airports handled somewhere between 450 and 500 million passengers, second only to US airports. During the last quarter of 2009, domestic passenger numbers continued to grow each month by just under 20%. More impressively this represents growth of over 30% on figures for the last quarter of 2007.
Although international traffic has returned to growth in the second half of 2009, demand is still around 5% to 10% below the level of 2007.
In 2008, China’s airlines flew 192 million passengers. Last year, this figure jumped to just over 230 million.
In the last quarter of 2009, average load factors for each month were not only better than those achieved in 2008, but also above the levels reached in 2007.
Beijing now linked to Tokyo Haneda as well as Narita
New international services started during the last quarter of 2009 include Air China, ANA and JAL all starting daily flights from Beijing to Tokyo Haneda, and Hainan Airlines starting flights to Khartoum from Beijing.